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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of entacapone (OR-611) on brain [18F]-6-L-fluorodopa metabolism: implications for levodopa therapy of Parkinson's disease.

We used PET and [18F]-6-L-fluorodopa ([18F]dopa) to measure the effect of a peripheral COMT inhibitor, entacapone, on the extracerebral metabolism and subsequent striatal uptake of [18F]dopa. Four parkinsonian patients and six age-matched normal controls were each scanned twice, once after carbidopa (150 mg) plus placebo and once after carbidopa (150 mg) plus entacapone (400 mg or 800 mg). Without entacapone premedication, by 90 minutes from injection, only 22% of the [18F] signal in plasma represented unmetabolized [18F]dopa (the balance being 3-O-methyl[18F]dopa). After entacapone medication, this fraction increased to 56% of the [18F] signal (p < 0.0001). We did not find any significant differences between the changes observed in patients versus controls or between those subjects who received 400 mg entacapone versus 800 mg in either this or any of the other reported measures. PET image contrast increased in all cases, reflecting an increase in the specific striatal signal ([striatum-occipital]:occipital ratio increased 38% [p < 0.0001]). Entacapone did not alter the rate of striatal uptake and decarboxylation of [18F]dopa as estimated using a graphic approach with metabolite-corrected plasma as input function to calculate the influx constant, Ki(p) (p = NS). This confirms that such an analytic approach adequately corrects for the effect of extracerebral [18F]dopa methylation. In contrast, the influx constant Ki(o) (calculated using occipital counts as the input function) increased 45% after entacapone (p < 0.0001). This demonstrates the sensitivity of this analytic approach to the presence of peripheral 3-O-methyl[18F]dopa and provides an estimate of the percentage increase in brain free [18F]dopa resulting from entacapone premedication.[1]


  1. The effect of entacapone (OR-611) on brain [18F]-6-L-fluorodopa metabolism: implications for levodopa therapy of Parkinson's disease. Sawle, G.V., Burn, D.J., Morrish, P.K., Lammertsma, A.A., Snow, B.J., Luthra, S., Osman, S., Brooks, D.J. Neurology (1994) [Pubmed]
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